LIE NOW, PLAY LATER
The project is for science and America's race to the moon—so when duty called, USC Coach Forrest Twogood answered. He agreed to let the space people send two of his varsity basketball players to bed for 30 days. They want to study the effects of sustained horizontal positions, and when a basketball player stretches out he is horizontal from here to way over there.
The study is called "Operation Sacktime," and players John Brockman (6-foot-5 forward), Allen Young (6-foot-6 forward) and 11 other students are just concluding three weeks of conditioning so that they can climb into bed physically tuned. When they pop out of bed next month—after the simulated physiological equivalent of a 15-day round trip to the moon—the men will undergo more exercises and test spins in USC's human centrifuge.
"This is a serious problem confronting the well-being of future astronauts," says Dr. John P. Meehan Jr. of the USC medical school and a chief investigator on the project. "What NASA hopes to gain from this study is a knowledge of how the superbly conditioned human cardiovascular system adjusts to a change from a horizontal position to one that is vertical."
This also is a serious problem to Coach Twogood. "I want to see if Al and John are better players this season," he says anxiously. "If they are, well...who knows? I just might put my whole team in this program next year."
HUNTED NO MORE
When they become rabid, raccoons lose all fear of men and dogs and often become the hunters rather than the hunted. In Georgia recently, fisherman Charlie Folsom noticed a raccoon ambling by, went back to baiting his hook and was attacked and severely bitten. He killed the animal and experts found it to be rabid—one of 56 confirmed cases in recent months. Folsom was treated and seems to have escaped the disease, but cases like his are stirring new worry in the Georgia-Florida region. Because the infected animals appear to be moving north, Georgia's fish and game department has banned the oldtime custom of trapping raccoons in the south and releasing them for hunting in the north, where they are scarce. Biggest worry: the raccoons will attack the dogs and spread the disease further. The familiar, melodic baying of the 'coon hounds will not ring out this season.
WICKEDNESS AT WYKAGYL
To every golfer who approached the 4th hole at Wykagyl Country Club last Friday the pin placement looked like a practical joke. The cup was located on the downhill ridge of the two-level green, a location that left 16 of the best professionals in the U.S., competing in the Wykagyl Round Robin for $25,000 in prizes, unanimously unamused. The pros have a tendency to be angered by even the fairest of pin positions if their putts do not drop. Precious few dropped on Wykagyl's 4th that day.
Fred Hawkins, tournament leader at the time, took three putts, lost three points and the lead. Gene Littler took four putts and might have taken more if his companions had not finally conceded him an eight-footer. The cup sat in so precarious a position that an NBC cameraman raced out to the green to shoot pictures of a player placing a ball above the hole and watching it roll hastily down the hill.
Although eight of the 16 managed to par the hole, the last foursome, in a unique form of protest, found a different solution to Wykagyl's 4th. Tommy Bolt, Jimmy Demaret, George Bayer and Tommy Jacobs each hit on the green, a 147-yard par-3, and then they picked up, conceding themselves pars and no loss of points.